Sunday, September 29, 2013

Godane vs White Widow

Who's the "Boss" of Al-Shabab?

Sheikh Mukhtar Ali Zubeyr is also known as Muktar Abdirahman 'Godane', Ahmed Abdi Godane, Ahmed Abdi Aw Mohammed, Mukhtar Abu Zubeyr and Muqtar Abdurahman Abu Zubeyr. He's caught the planet's attention. Suffice it to say al-Shabaab has consistently surprised observers, who no doubt have underestimated the group's power and potential.  Follow al-Shabaab on twitter.

He is the leader of Harakat Al-Shabab Mujahideen, which currently is the most prominent insurgent group in Somalia. He was born in in Hargeisa on July 10, 1977. He hails from the Isaaq tribe of north Somalia. He trained and fought in Afghanistan: he is designated by the United States as a terrorist.

Godane is described by friend and foe as bookish, eloquent in both Arabic and Somali, recites poetry and is known to quote from obscure academic journals.

According to Abdi Aynte, director of  Mogadishu-based think-tank the Heritage Institute for Policy Studies: “Godane is clearly positioning himself as the next Anwar al-Awlaki – on top of his game as the head of a local al-Qa’ida affiliate, and with international ambitions.”

Thank-you for stopping by this blog. Like many other unexpected intrusions into "normal everyday life," the Westgate Mall Incident took a lot of innocent people by surprise in a place they commonly frequented, a place that projected familiarity - safety and security. Like the mall near you. Know this: you are never secure and should always 'be ready," no matter where you are or what the circumstance/scenario. This is not to say you should live in fear. just live with purpose.

Face-to-Face w/Terror: Read this if you read nothing else today... and please read my previous blog entry about this tragic event, and pray for the souls tortured before they were executed.

More ::: Au Westgate, un concours de cuisine pour enfants a tourné au drame

How was Al-Shabab able to pull off the Westgate Attack?

They had a plan...  these non-random group-orchestrated terror attacks have always been carefully crafted.

What exactly is Al-Shabab?

Al-Shabab (‘The Youth’ in Arabic)  is an extremist Islamist terrorist force that grew out of the anarchy that crippled Somalia after warlords ousted a longtime dictator in 1991. Al-Shabab is estimated to have several thousand fighters, including a few hundred foreigners. A number of them have been recruited from Somali communities in the US and Europe. Officials in North America have expressed fears that terrorists fleeing Afghanistan and Pakistan could seek refuge in Somalia.

Where is Al-Shabab, and did I spell that correctly

Al-Shabab won control of almost all of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, in 2006, and held large swathes of Central and Southern Somalia until a United Nations-backed force from the African Union, including soldiers from neighbouring Kenya and Uganda, pushed the terrorists out of the city in 2011 and out of the vital port of Kismayo in 2012. The rebels still control many rural areas in Somalia where it imposes strict Shariah law, including stoning to death women accused of adultery and amputating the hands of accused thieves. In addition, it has staged deadly suicide bomb attacks on Mogadishu and Kismayo.

CNN spells it one way, NPR another. It's up to you. But you better know the right spelling should you evber encounter these folks in a mall and they quiz you on it

Why is Al-******  attacking Kenya?

al-Shabaab has warned  it would attack Kenya in retaliation for the country’s leading role in sending troops to Somalia in 2011,  effectively reducing the extremist group’s power.

Does it have Al-Qaeda Links?

That's what they claim.The group told Al Jazeera a few days after Westgate that it considers Al Qaeda a partner in the Nairobi attack and is taking orders directly from their leadership.

What about the White Widow --- and who funds the group?

Like the argument over how to spell al-sha???, whether or not the so-called "White Widow" co-captains the group and masterminded the Westgate Mall Attack depends on who you talk to. Samantha Lewthwaite is believed to have entered Kenya on a fraudulent South African passport under the name Natalie Faye Webb. On Twitter (assuming it is a valid account) Al-Shabaab tweeted they wouldn't send a woman out on a military operation. So maybe the long-haired caucasian mall-shoppers saw on massacre day was a man? Oh and by the way, Sam recently posted what's been described as a "martyrdom poem" on her twitter account, hinting she would be departing the mortal coil soon.

A United Nations report estimates Al-Shabab’s income in 2011 at between $70 million and $100 million. They got the money via "fees" - whatever those might be - and shakedowns at roadway checkpoints - along with taxation, extortion and "diaspora support."

Are they really really dangerous? I live in North/South America, Asia, Russia etc. 

Perhaps: we've certainly had our share of mass-shooting incidents over the past couple of years. Here's one observation. the USA backed the first African intervention against Al-Shabab, supporting Ethopian troops that invaded in 2006. Washington has given millions of Dollars to support the UN-backed African force fighting Al-Shabab, which it designated a foreign terrorist organisation in 2008.

What drives them?

Al-Shabab is inspired by the Saudi Arabian Wahabi version of Islam. Most Somalis belong to the moderate Sufi strain.

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